Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Hermes, Jean Paul Gaultier, was a fitting end to what seemed like weeks of shows in Paris. This is, after all, the last show that Mr. Gaultier will resend for the famed brand. Nevertheless, to say he went out with a bang is an understatement. While the clothes remain utterly urbane, utterly low key and wildly expensive, the collection demonstrates how to take a trend/ theme and own it in every way. Each outfit bore the Hermes stamp……each had its own interpretation of the theme or inspiration and all of it was pure and true to the house. It is a rarity, in the world of fashion, to reinvigorate an established brand and breathe new life into it and retain the original DNA and integrity from which the house was built, but Mr. Gaultier, much to his credit, took the brand and his own particular skill set and created a fashion powerhouse for the brand which was primarily known for its accessories.
There are few words that can express the overwhelming talent of Karl Lagerfeld. This season for Chanel, he has delivered another blockbuster collection that will send the Chanel ladies into a dead faint. The palette is limited and yet there is no boredom, not a second wasted in delivering the latest message from the master. From tweeds to torn denim to plumage, the message is clearly modern and always retaining the language of Chanel. Everything is tweaked to perfection for any age, it is all there, provided of course that you can afford the luxury of such beauty. Fashion can be a cruel friend but obviously Mr. Lagerfeld has never made an enemy here at the house of Chanel…the slideshow will speak for itself
Friday, October 8, 2010
There can be nothing worse than knowing that what you put forth will be the moment that everyone judges your work. Sarah Burton, who stood next to her mentor and best friend for 15 years, has shown the world that she is fluent in the vocabulary that was ALEXANDER McQUEEN!!! This was a tour de force of talent which very few can ever achieve when having to fill the shoes of a genius. There is no coincidence that within this oeuvre there were symbols of transformation, the butterfly which is said to be a human soul in search of reincarnation and the sheaf of wheat and wheat itself which is said to be a symbol of fertility, prosperity and strength. It is all true as Ms. Burton has forever endeared herself to retailers, editors and most of all the bigwigs at PPR who will, no doubt, anoint her as the “second coming.”
She chose her silhouettes carefully, eased them up ever so slightly and in some cases pushed them to the next level. The fantasy which Mr. McQueen invoked in his shows was not lost on Sarah Burton. There is no doubt that the darkness which pervaded so many of his shows in the past was banished to white, pure and virginal. It is almost an unfathomable task to have bequeathed the legacy which Mr. McQueen left and yet it is no less remarkable for Sarah Burton to have continued his DNA with such unimaginable abilities and loyalty.
Her love and respect for ALEXANDER McQUEEN is reflected in these clothes for only with those qualities has it been possible to create and prolong the brand and the man.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Emanuel Ungaro, Giles Deacon has relocated the DNA that was lost for so many seasons. Mr. Deacon’s freshman outing for the brand was certainly more than promising. The collection was strong with signatures such as draping, lace and sexy for after 5 but there needs to be that provocative and intrinsically sexy attitude that Mr. Ungaro was such a master at for the daytime segment. The prints which the brand was so famous for would have fit in so well with the current trend in Paris this season but instead there was an oversized graphic black and white print. Mr. Deacon will find his was as it is very apparent that he understands the vocabulary of the house.
Yves St Laurent, Stefano Pilati, strained to not reference the house’s DNA too literally when he actually had the license to do it and no one would have faulted him. There seems to be a sort of YSL fever that has been swept the runways in Paris and Milan and one would have hoped that the namesake brand would have partaken in the trend with greater gusto. Mr. Pilati politely nodded and alluded to the house signatures, under the stewardship of Mr. St Laurent, but he should have really dipped into the language that is St. Laurent. Mr. Pilati has taken the brand into the 21st century but there is a lack of the soigne and chic that seems to be lacking which St. Laurent did so well. The heightened state of expectation fell flat here this season when it should have been a no brainer for Mr. Pilati.
Stella McCartney continues on her pilgrimage for wearable, understandable and real clothes and she does so to great effect. The tailoring is present, albeit a bit more relaxed, an unfortunate segment of denim, and much more surprisingly, a wonderful element of a “citrus print” which suddenly delivered a sense of playfulness not seen very often in this collection.
Giambattista Valli delivered a confusing and possibly misguided foray into Spring 2011. The shapes were easy, the palette appealing, the leopard fun but the sheer looks and odd mash ups and the house’s signatures which were distorted this season made of ran awkward presentation. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Mr. Valli managed to send out some great daytime pieces as well as a few spectacular chiffons but the overall collection seemed to be severely lacking.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Andrew Gn opened up with a series of virginal white long dresses complete with ruffles and tiers and shades of the 70’s. Decidedly hippy and a heavy concentration on day clothes which is not the normal M O for this house. Missing were the embellished and decorative dressy dresses of past seasons but we received Mr. Gn’s take on broderie anglaise which hardly filled the void left by the disappearance of his usual ornate creations.
Akris provided plenty of the house’s DNA in the form of clean sharp lined clothing which bore more than a striking resemblance to Dries Van Noten. The urbane slick lady clothes from Akris will keep their clientele smiling and the registers ringing.
Givenchy, Ricardo Tisci, kept that punk moment alive but with a preponderance of black which seems to be the “anti-color” this season. It seemed that the collection leaned very hard on Mr. Tisci’s love for leopard and zippers but they did little to make this collection a standout. This was not replay nor was it the extended play we have seen in the past few days from so many collections. The rock star DNA and glamour that has pervaded this collection in the past seems absent or hidden due to the complicated way the clothes were shown.
Alexis Mabille is one of the rising stars of Paris fashion and this season there was a seismic shift toward daytime attire which was a great disappointment. Decidedly graphic and feminine with hints of 70’s silhouettes but there were some stellar moments with divine white blouses and some superb dresses. His palette remained restrained which worked to his advantage on many levels.
Celine, Phoebe Philo, returns after a watershed Fall collection and hit the extended play button with more relaxed shapes which were riffs on Fall. The shapes were relaxed and yet managed to hold onto the clean lines which propelled her to dizzying heights after the past collection. This season we get a taste of the artisan with some hand woven silks and some less successful prints which seemed awkward. Nevertheless, the DNA of the brand has been altered but far from destroyed.
Azzaro, Vanessa Steward, was short on length but long on charm and appeal. There was a little girl quality to many of the white dresses but it was balanced out by the sexy styling when she used other colors. The only trend we saw here was ruffles and yet the lack of trend was balanced by the salable wearable collection that keeps her ladies coming back for more.
Jean Paul Gaultier was a lil bit rock n’ roll and lil bit of punk for Spring. There were cosmic prints and lots of JPG DNA spread around. What is quickly becoming a trend here is pressing the extended play or the replay button and this was no exception. This is a collection for the diehard JPG fans as it was hardly what one might call…..pivotal but it was, as usual, irreverent start to finish.
Loewe, Stuart Vevers, filled us with great hope since seeing his last collection for Fall but alas, for Spring, he seems to have strayed or perhaps lost his way. The clothes are ok … there was the requisite color and prints but there seemed to be no mood, no moment as if it was forced out to meet the deadline.
Viktor and Rolf are considered to be showmen, not to mention great technicians and good designers, but this season the theme seemed to control the collection. The theme, French cuffed dress shirts, became so over powering that the clothes seem to be secondary to sticking to the theme. Buried amongst all the theatrics were some very appealing clothes but they were so over shadowed by all the tricks and visuals employed by these two.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Dior, John Galliano, brought everyone to Hawaii, maybe Tahiti, but it was definitely the tropics. The girls were vampy, the girls were campy but the overall presentation, clothes included, did not live up the expectation of spectacular that we have become accustomed to from Dior. The problem is that every show cannot be a blockbuster but we can always be happy that it was certainly more than satisfactory.
Lanvin, Alber Elbaz……word association…urbane, chic, slick, pleated, modern, draped and zipped….and there you have Lanvin. Mr. Elbaz has turned the sleepy brand into a blockbuster must for modern women of the 21st century. This is the one stop shopping destination for his clientele. There was color, caftans,zipping, draping, clean lines and all the Lanvin signatures that Mr. Elbaz has created for the Lanvin woman……there are few collections on any continent that can rival its appeal ……BRAVO !!!!
Roland Mouret didn’t hit the replay button but instead hit extended play where he massaged his signature looks for Spring. He teased us with color and eased the shapes while adding some much more relaxed sportswear looks which were less on the mark that his usual fare. Hopefully by Fall, the look will have solidified for a more extensive collection.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Nina Ricci, Peter Copping, stepped up to the color trend as well as ruffling and paper bag waists which all seem to be the emerging trend. The collection veered from simple clean and chic to confections of ruffles and feathers. Somehow, his use of black seemed out of place and some of the color combinations seemed a bit awkward but there were bright spots----literally and figuratively.
Balmain, Christophe Decarin, is nothing if not consistent but the punk rock star theme lacks the flash and dash of past collections. Yes, there are safety pins and torn hose but the ripped up cutoffs are a bit de trop. The overall look seems to have been designed by Madonna’s daughter rather than the man who delivered $20,000 rock star jackets and gowns. Mr. Decarin is running the risk of losing his audience very quickly with a collection like this.
Balenciaga, Nicholas Ghesquiere, remains in his techno mode but this time out with bold graphics and even flat shoes. Having built his loyal coterie of followers, he provided just enough for them to gobble up and cherish. Somehow, the absence of the skyscraper heels resulted in a more approachable collection and yet stayed true to his path. This was not a watershed collection but this was not hitting the replay button.
Rick Owens….there’s always too much intellectualizing and this collection but this season delivered a collection that did not require the verbiage as the clothes spoke for themselves. There were hints of vintage Jil and perhaps a few of the Japanese, but Spring provided plenty of the signatures of Rick Owens and plenty to attract new clientele as well. Razor sharp, constructed and extreme but more than a few fleeting moments of true beauty.
Pierre Cardin returned to the runway this season with the same consistency and originality that has become a trademark for his brand. It is often hard to distinguish between the brand and the createur but never think that Cardin, the designer, is out of the game. The show presented his space age moments his signature clean lines as well as his bows and his draping; he will never be accused of being Johnny one note. Keep in mind he was the first to solely own his own empire and still does which is more than we can say about almost any other company with similar revenue. He should be respected and revered for having been a pioneer in this business